Sunday, 27 October 2013

Misled by illusions and half-baked promises

Misled by illusions and half-baked promises

(Or after what he sought  near Arlegui
and  near San Sebastian; and a need for communitarian preservation
of local heritage)

It was Friday, last week when he went to his friend's house for a visit. 

While walking, he sought old houses gone deteriorating alongside new ones all with fresh paint while people come and go as if nothing happened in their community; however, as he continued walking and sightseeing, seems that one of the familiar houses he sought had gone forever.

As one of the old houses once featured by Paulo Bustamante had been demolished despite promises of keeping it preserved, at least given a retrofit and improved its structure; but in the finale, chose to demolish it all for the sake of prime lots.
Using the mindset of the ones who had bought  would say that they care about the prime lot, the price of the land than the edifice being built; of course, they want to replace it with "something modern", in a way Imelda Marcos said about "a guiding light" for the depressed areas such as Arlegui and near San Sebastian.

That somehow meant for this writer as an illusion, giving up heritage, whether it is tangible or intangible all for the sake of so-called "modernity" presented by the ones on high is all but a mockery of creating an identity; knowing that they had often used patriotic symbolism in every medium, yet succumbing in the wishes of the single-fanged "western civilization" includes reducing every aspiration into illusion, of museumifying certain sites whilst the rest, regardless of its grandeur, had to be demolished.
Yes,  for most people who had contented in a vicious cycle would tell everyone that it is all but nothing seeing their familiar communities "changed", as they don't even mind if those houses they've familiar with are deteriorating, sold, bought and eventually demolished with its ruins comes a new far from its style and worse, devoid of its significance.

And since they are a part of that community, are these people, whose majority had been mislead by illusions given by the "two-faced present" had at least a deep concern over those old houses, buildings, and having a sense of communitarian interest in preserving what they had seen throughout the years? Ideally speaking, having a community who had profound interest in keeping their heritage firm doesn't need much a private institution to support as long as they keep anything nice as-it-is just like Vigan or Taal.
And also somehow that  in preserving thine national heritage, both tangible and intangible, all in midst of modernity lies the rebirth of an identity that is new, youthful and lasting, modern yet deeply rooted in its historical pasts, realistic in its appeal, as contrary to those who bannered the grandeur of the past yet kissing the arses of "modern civilization", of "globalization" that involves sacrificing a significant part of national patrimony, including culture in a way this writer had sought and stated.

After all, why did this writer had afford to say that today's people had been misled by illusions given by those who exploit for generations? That, all despite presenting sugar coated phrases and tangible ones such as modernity and innovation, as well as patriotism of some sort, had to destroy something that had been took part in a year-long struggle for self determination, cultural autonomy, and respect. The Marcoses, and succeeding leaders in the Philippines had once tried to revive some that invokes cultural identity like any other statesperson around the world, yet at the same time they had sponsored thoroughly the wishes of the west; that one remember Chico dam and Cellophil over Cordillera.
Developmental indeed at first sight, yet benefits the exploiters most than those of the inhabitants who care about their livelihood, their culture, their Payaw (Rice Terraces), and their lives; same as in Samar whose trees been cut off by Enrile that led to floods due to rain.

And if these continues to persist, then perhaps true that the real Filipino, who was lucky despite being poor by eating sweet potatoes and working hard in order to survive had been killed after the Second World War alongside ruined edifices most being demolished for "something modern in everyone's eyes", that those who survived had tried to salvage the remnants of their pasts while the present and the future generations continued to discard, thinking it had been useless in a so-called "fast-changing world" such as old yet remarkable houses, buildings, mostly in the suburbs of Manila and surrounding cities.

That also made this writer recalled what Mehmet Akif Ersoy said in his Istiklal Marsi:

Garbın âfakını sarmışsa çelik zırhlı duvar,

Benim iman dolu göğsüm gibi serhaddim var.
Ulusun, korkma! Nasıl böyle bir imanı boğar,
"Medeniyet!" dediğin tek dişi kalmış canavar?

And in English:

"The land is surrounded by the West and armoured with walls of steel,

But I have borders guarded by the mighty chest of a believer.
Let it howl, do not be afraid! And think: how can this fiery faith ever be killed,
By that battered, single-fanged monster you call "civilization"?"

The last two verses somehow mirrors what's happening today. Demolition of "good" structures, enslavement of people through mind and ears, how come those on high, despite parroting the past and invoking patriotic sentiment tolerate the killers of heritage, identity, and struggle for social emancipation? Just because there's money in it thanks to so-called "developers"? Companies who care about increasing profits and giving crumbs in the guise of "corporate social responsibilities?"
How come things such as what this writer and others concerned sought happen despite promises? Are these things part of modern-day "civilization?" Reducing heritage into imaginations, aspirations into delusions and substituted by illusions presented by mainstream media? A civilization that is suicidal than beneficial to many!


Anyways, despite all the expressions and bullshits this writer had typed over in the writeup, this writer speaks appreciation to those who are serious and eager to preserve heritage regardless of the era yet significant than those who treat it as for show; and at the same time, lamenting to those who fail, worse, gave up preserving and hence, gave way to the wishes of those parroting "development" yet caring about prime lots, demolishing remarkable edifices for the sake of building aesthetic-less, made for sake ones bereft of significance and call it as developmental.

And if that is a part of democracy and development consistently spoken throughout, then what kind of democracy and development these people on high and its petibourgeois followers advocating? If that is part of change, then did it steer change other than having new buildings and presenting as a part of a fast-changing world? And if so, then how about London, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Shanghai?
Anyways, if that is a way of practising "democracy and development," sorry to those who may mislead, then Fuck that "democracy and development" as well! This writer may ought not to blame the idea and aspiration what people ought to think nowadays, of freedom and overchoices, of innovation and renovation; but knowing that today's Democracy and Development had work both ways (one and another) unfortunately, knowing that they had been driven much by individual or corporate greed that encompasses many things to exploit;  that includes old buildings, mountains, forests, all had to be "sacrificed" by calling it "Development" while most people had chose to content in a vicious cycle of "earn, buy, consume, die" rather than revisiting their history, and see those edifices nothing but a run-down old structure far from their interest, hence, tolerating the stupidity that is prevailing nowadays.

Well, when was the time people cherish the past, the simplicity and the grandeur that end up storytold by the old?

Otherwise, everyone had chose to give up heritage and redescribing it as "moving on."